A partnership of voluntary sector agencies has today announced the launch of a communal response to suicide for schools and a joint initiative to help prevent suicide.

The Emergency Response Initiative Consortium – a partnership of agencies coordinated by Jami, comprised of CST, Norwood, Grief Encounter, the JBCS and in partnership with PaJeS – will provide guidance and a face-to-face first responder service to Jewish schools after a student suicide. The team can also be consulted in the event of a sudden traumatic death.

A single point of contact with a team that can provide immediate support and guidance in the tragic event of a suicide or sudden traumatic death, will be of significant benefit to the school and all its constituents. Having a structured and considered plan for immediate action, proper training, as well as short term and longer-term guidance, will benefit teachers, pupils and parents and provide reassurance to both adults and young people at a time of grief and uncertainty.

The guide will also include initiatives we can put in place as a community to help prevent suicide. This ‘postvention’ strategy includes education, training and management systems that create an awareness and understanding of suicide; reduce the taboo around talking about suicidal feelings and encourage people to seek help.

The variables around each suicide are complex. Each death, however, has a devastating impact for family members and friends, as well as the wider community of which they were part.

Rabbi David Meyer, Executive Director at PaJeS, the Jewish Schools Network said, “PaJeS is pleased to be partnering with this important initiative which has been discussed with pastoral leaders and launched at our Headteachers Conference.

“We are very fortunate that the schools in our community not only achieve high academic standards but also show genuine concern and care for all the students.  However, there are times where the expectations on school leaders are beyond their levels of expertise.  It is therefore welcomed that Jami together with CST, Norwood, JBCS, and Grief Encounter has prepared this essential guidance for schools on dealing with sudden traumatic death”.

More than 6,500 people across the UK take their own lives each year1 and tens of thousands more attempt suicide. It is also the biggest killer of young people2. Raising awareness of suicide and the fact that suicide is preventable, can help reduce the risk.

For more information on ‘Coping After Suicide and Sudden Traumatic Death: A Guide for Schools’ please contact karen.wilson@jamiuk.org

Sources: 1Samaritans (2019) 2ONS (2019)


If you are supporting someone experiencing suicidal thoughts, you can contact one of the following services. Trained suicide prevention workers will talk you through practical advice and tips.

For young people under 35 please call Papyrus, a charity which runs the HopelineUK, on 0800 068 41 41, text to 07786209697 or email pat@papyrus-uk.org
Opening Hours: 10am – 10pm weekdays; 2pm – 10pm weekends and bank holidays